I just learned that bounties from deleted accounts are eliminated from history, with the argumentation that the awarded rep was gained by that user and not by the awarded one. But what about the other direction? Does the rep vanish? Is it refunded? Can it be re-awarded at least?

  • Assuming the rewarded answer is still there, despite its author being deleted?
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:03
  • @Arjan: yes, the answer is then owned by an anonymized shadow of that user (I mean, a gray unclickable user with the name last used before user deletion) example (though that's a migrated question, it looks the same for answers) Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:12
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    But then the awarded bounty, which was awarded to an answer, is still applicable? Why would the question owner be refunded, or be able to award it to another answer?
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:15
  • @Arjan: True. I was just wondering, since for the other direction reputation is not considered transferred but more or less borrowed only - so with the recipient vanishing my false deduction was it can't vanish. But stating "the bounty is awarded to the answer, not the user" is the answer, since the bounty doesn't actually vanish as long as the answer is left Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:30
  • @Tobias the bounty that stays there is a bug as far as I understood the question you linked to - the bounty is given on answer, but the reputation goes to some specific member.. Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:35
  • On the other hand: it would make some sense to refund (or at least make it available again for a new 7 day period), if Bounties from deleted accounts should still be awarded is not considered to be a bug. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


Well, two questions with two answers.

  1. Does the rep vanish?
    Yes because deleted user can't have any reputation.. whatever reputation he got goes to the grave with his account.

  2. Is it refunded / Can it be re-awarded
    No, in the bounty wiki page it clearly says:
    Please note that once a bounty is started, the reputation is non-refundable under any circumstances

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    @Shadow Wizard - Just curious - What if that user creates an account again with same OpenID as before deletion? Then will he get his rep back? Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:35
  • re 1) I heard all deleted-user rep is actually transferred to the community user who is hard-coded to show up with 1 rep only. uhm, not that it really matters... Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:37
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    @Sachin - they will not, the record of that previous user is gone...so that OpenID no longer has any relation to the bounty :) Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:37
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    @Sachin To tack onto Nick's note, in extenuating circumstances it is possible for the user to be merged with a deleted account, this is used to restore deletion in the scenario that a user does return. As this reverts a lot, I would expect bounties to also be affected by it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:37
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    @Nick is the record "hard deleted" / purged from database, or can it be recovered per Grace comment? Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:40
  • @Tobias, Community hardcoded to show 1? Not so much!
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:44
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    @Grace - this isn't the case, since the bounty (technically a vote) is transferred to the community user when the user's deleted...while we can make an educated guess here, it's not something that would happen, no. Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:46
  • @Arjan: thanks for the link, I only looked at their meta account. Interesting Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:50
  • @Nick Thanks for the confirmation. I was under the impression that the votes were reverted as well, but perhaps it's only the winnings.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 11:57
  • @Grace - That's mostly accurate...only in the case of bounties specifically we transfer them to community to ensure there are no issues in awarding them. Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 12:06
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    just as a prove: this answer by a deleted user still has a bounty rewarded Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 13:39

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